A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I hosted a little party at our house. I got him a record player for Christmas and he was excited to break out all his old vinyl (he’s practically a hoarder so he still has every record he ever bought since he was 11) and play DJ for the night.
We had great food, great wine, and lots of laughs. But, at one point in the evening, the conversation turned to a story one of our neighbours had about a contractor they’d hired to remodel their bathroom. After meeting with the guy when he pitched them on the job, and paying their deposit, he’d become impossible to get a hold of. He’d barely started the work they’d agreed to, and he was horrible at returning phone calls, texts or emails. They were trying to figure out how to fire him.
“Now that we’ve been telling the story, we’ve heard that he’s done this to a bunch of other people too,” my neighbour said. “The guy just lacks integrity.” Everyone nodded with clear understanding. No one likes someone who lacks integrity.
What do we mean when we say that someone has integrity?
We mean that they’re honest. That they do what they say they’re going to do. That we know we can trust them and count on them.
We know that when we act with integrity, it feels good.
And, if we’re being honest, we’ve all acted in a way that’s out of integrity, and we know that doesn’t feel so good.
This is because when we make choices from a place of integrity, we are aligned with a higher vibration within ourselves. It resonates with something greater and it feels…right.
So, what does all this have to do with our relationship with food? I believe, a whole lot!
Think about how it feels when you interact with another person and they continually act in a way that lacks integrity (like my neighbour’s contractor). Over time they teach you that their actions do not line up with their words. You do not believe that they will do what they say they are going to do. You begin to lose trust in them and you find yourself disconnecting with them more and more.
It doesn’t feel good to be with someone who lacks integrity. And the absolute worst is when someone you really like or love, and trust, acts in a way that’s out of integrity. You can sort of deal with it from a contractor, but when someone that you thought cared about you lets you down, it really hurts.
So, let’s consider this in terms of our relationship with ourselves.
When you tell yourself over and over and over again that you’re going to eat better, or move more, or put a greater emphasis on self-care, and then you choose actions that don’t line up with those words, you are acting in a way that lacks integrity.
When your higher self knows that you are a divine being with infinite potential and purpose, and then you continually second-guess yourself, put yourself down and repeat limiting beliefs about yourself, you are thinking in a way that lacks integrity.
And that takes a toll on your soul.
Over time, every time you do that, it chips away at the trust you have for yourself. You begin to not like yourself so much because it doesn’t feel so good to be with yourself when you lack integrity in your actions and your thoughts.
I see this everywhere. People who have spent years struggling with food and their bodies, often carry with them a deep sadness. It’s my belief that this lack of integrity within themselves is the root source of that sadness.
They can’t trust their own selves, and that cuts deep.
It also sends them searching for food to feel better. And the vicious cycle continues.
I invite you to take some time to sit with this notion of integrity. Think about where, when it comes to your health, you are acting with integrity and where you lack integrity.
Then, start to take some small steps to move increasingly towards a place of integrity.
How do you do that?
You make a promise and you keep it.
It doesn’t matter what it is. Start with something small, specific and doable that you absolutely know you can follow through on. Maybe it’s meditating for ten minutes 3 times this week. Or, maybe it’s starting the day with a glass of lemon water every day for the next 5 days.
Pick something small and specific. Make the promise to yourself and keep your promise. And (this is very important), once you’ve met your goal and kept your promise to yourself, sit with that. Acknowledge that you’ve kept your promise to yourself and acted with enormous integrity and feel how that resonates within you. Feel how deep that goes. Enjoy that feeling.
Over time, as you collect kept promises, you will slowly begin to earn back your own trust. You will be increasingly acting from a place of integrity and you will feel a deep shift inside as a result.